The Peshtigo Fire – America’s Forgotten Disaster

Dan Gillis at the Damn Interesting blog has a masterful write-up on one of America’s worst and least-remembered catastrophes — the fire that baked the entire town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin with its 2000 residents alive.  Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite:

As the fire approached the frantic citizens, they did everything they could in their desperate attempt to escape. Many jumped into wells, hoping the water would help protect them, only to be boiled alive. As people inhaled the superheated air, they dropped dead, their lungs charred. Men, women, and children rushed for the bridge that spanned the Peshtigo River, but it had not escaped the fire’s indiscriminate carnage. As the townspeople crossed the bridge, it succumbed to the abuse of the flames and collapsed in a deadly heap. Even more had rushed into the river itself, hoping the water would help protect them from the looming inferno; but the fire bombarded the people with burning wreckage. The river was soon littered with lifeless bodies.

Read the full article.

Published in: on December 30, 2012 at 8:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Iron Bird Bookends

I absolutely love Gothic Rose Antiques’s latest addition: a pair of gothic, black iron bookends in the shape of birds of prey.

Published in: on March 24, 2011 at 7:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Review of Mary Roach’s “Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers”

I recently got around to reading Mary Roach’s morbidly fascinating bestseller, “Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers,” and it richly rewarded every second of time I devoted to it.  “Stiff” is immensely informative, completely captivating, keeps you turning pages, while at the same time managing to be shockingly entertaining and done with a good sense of humor.  Roach will tell the incredible and sometimes unbelievable tales of cadaver usage throughout history and different societies.  She will then take you through the process of what happens to your body as soon as you expire, and all the different possible ways that science can utilize your corpse (some ways you’ve surely never even though of before).  Tearing away the macabre veil of mystery that enshrouds the journey of the human cadaver, “Stiff” answers all the questions you’ve ever had about the scientific usage of dead humans, and even the questions you never thought to ask.  Well worth every penny!

Published in: on February 10, 2011 at 8:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Knitting for the Slightly Sinister, and Much More

Yet more wonderful additions to‘s Literary Oddities section!  Adding works like these to your book shelves will be sure to provoke conversation with house guests.

Published in: on November 11, 2010 at 7:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Do-It-Yourself Coffins, and Other Helpful Books posted some new titles in their Literary Oddities section recently.  Great reading material or humorous decoration fodder:

Published in: on October 15, 2010 at 11:17 am  Leave a Comment  

Abebooks’ Collection of Strange and Unusual Books

Not only does Abebooks provide your regular literature, they also specialize in finding very rare, hard-to-come-by works at stunningly low prices.  I was first informed of by a kind old used book vendor in Washington state a couple of years ago, and I have been grateful ever since.  Especially on account of’s section of “Weird and Wonderful” literature.  Just a few of the intriguing and somewhat humorous titles that might be worth lining the shelves of your library or study:


Peruse the rest here

Published in: on September 29, 2010 at 12:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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